A Detail Lover Takes her iPhone to Carmel.

Hello hello dear followers!

Most of you must know how consuming getting a new job must be. That is the case with me. Yes my new full-time job has absorbed me, and it probably will take at least another three months before I am balanced and ready to post on a regular basis.

A few weeks ago, Simon and I spent a day in Carmel, California and found ourselves falling in love with the quaint architectural details of such a lovely town. Here some quick images taken on my iPhone. Little details from a little town on a cold winter-after-holiday evening.

After walking around town, we realized why this family wanted to let the world know that their dream has come true.

After walking around town, we realized why this family wanted to share with the world their dream come true.

Hearts welcoming you into  pretty little houses. It's almost fairytale like.

Hearts welcoming you into pretty little houses. It’s almost a fairytale.

Country style chocolate shingle house with doll house like white and baby blue windows.

Country style chocolate shingle house with doll-home like white and baby blue windows.

A house that makes you feel as if you lived in the woods. Look at the arched main window and the rock made chimney.

A house that makes you feel as if you lived in the woods. Beautiful arched windows and rock made chimney.

This house seems to be made of adobe. Its clay roof is well maintained and the wooden trim and balusters accentuate the gorgeous creamy wall. Rustic and elegant.

An adobe house with its well maintained clay roof and wooden trim that accentuate the gorgeous creamy wall. Rustic and elegant form a melody.

Even City Hall has its character with a beautiful wooden and hand carved/painted sign.

Even City Hall has its character with a rustic metal carved/painted sign.

Dutch/Gaudi style little cabins that serve as shops on the main street. Here Simon showing the architectural proportions. Truly quaint.

Dutch/Gaudi style little cabins that serve as shops on the main street. Here, Simon showing the architectural proportions. Truly quaint!

And here a dreamful beach in Carmel on this cold evening. May all of you had a wonderful holiday.

And here a dreamful beach in Carmel on this cold evening. May all of you had a wonderful holiday.


Victorious Vinctorians San Francisco’s Obsession

There is something magnificent about living in San Francisco and part of that is to be able to be constantly inspired by   Victorian Architecture.

This past 4th of July, Simon and I went for a bike ride around the city and confirmed the beauty of San Francisco’s architecture by spending some time laying on the grass in front of The Conservatory of Flowers. There I took a picture that I still can’t take out of my head. The magnificent structure standing in front of the beautiful flowers in full bloom. I needed to find more about such amazing building and after doing some research, I found that The Conservatory of Flowers has been alive for more than a century and it was built during the Victorian era.  It is also the oldest wood and glass conservatory in North America.

Conservatory in late 19th century and an Instagram image I took on July 4th 2012

This is not the only landmark public Victorian building in San Francisco. The Ferry Building also stands strong to this day winnig the hearts of millions o people that live and visit the city by the bay. Opening in 1898 on the site of the 1875 wooden Ferry House, it became “the transportation focal point for anyone arriving by train from the East, as well as from all the East Bay and Marin residents who worked in the city.  From the Gold Rush until the 1930s, arrival by ferryboat became the only way travelers and commuters—except those coming from the Peninsula—could reach the city.”

Ferry Building (exterior and interior) in the late 19th Century

And let me tell you, riding your bicycle on Market Street while you approach this building can be quite the nirvana experience. Seeing such a magnificent structure standing there right at the end as a milestone for your ride is for sure one of my favorite things about this city.

2012 view of Ferry Building. Exterior and Interior

And now, lets take a short ride along the city to see some truly stunning Victorian houses.

Biking on Washington Street (Pacific Heights), you could find this redish beauty

Between the Western Addition and NoPa, you will find these houses with semi-round cupules ~Photograph by Cyndi Lu Who

And of course once you reach Alamo Square, you will find the world famous Painted Ladies. Here their true beauty and in watercolor by SF based artist Ronald Pratt.

Heading up on Hayes Street, you will be in awe after finding this rhone painted queen

And on your way to Haight-Ashbury on Lyon Street you might be able to witness another row of painted ladies … this ones are a little more humble and less famous yet equally beautiful. ~iPhone Photograph by Simon Jones

Now you are on the Upper Haight and what a beautiful way to reach the top than by witnessing such wonderful and colorful corner house

Upper detail of a house in Cole Valley … perfect time to stop and grab a root beer float at The Ice Cream Bar.

Heading down on Haight Street you will find this row of colorful houses right on front of Buena Vista Park

And some of you know this house … yes the McAllister house by James Francis Dunn. A beautiful mystery towards Fillmore Street

To see more about this house, visit my September 2010 archives.

Entrance to the enchanted house …

Now time to observe the details … look at the brackets and the curved hood mold

The intricate railing, window molding and the cresting ~Photography by Kimberly Kradel

And the fun spider gate with gorgeous arched entrance. ~Photograph by Kimberly Kradel

Stay tuned for next post which will focus on Victorian interiors …

San Francisco’s Favorite Graffiti and Murals

Design and Art are intertwined and they constantly influence each other. I personally think graffiti is street art developed by young people’s need for expression in open spaces. Murals on the other hand are a re-defined version of graffiti that speak for the culture and struggles of the people.

Please join me, as we bike through the streets of San Francisco in search of unique and beautiful murals and graffiti art.

We start our stroll on Columbus & Broadway. This piece represents Jazz culture which has always been part of life in North Beach (Little Italy of the West).   Photography by earth-photography.com

In Chinatown, Banksy makes a statement bringing together peace & love.

Reverse graffiti by Paul “Moose” Curtis – Broadway tunnel between Chinatown and Russian Hill.

Landing on Haight/Ashbury, Banksy strikes again with giant rodent.

Heading down to the Lower Haight this beautiful piece by Northern-English native and CA based artist Ursula Young.

Now toward the Mission via Church Street we find the Market Street Railway Mural by Mona Caron. This mural shows a 180-degree bird’s eye view of San Francisco’s Market Street through time.

Floating houses near 14th and Treat in the Mission District.

3D like work by Julie Murray on Clarion Alley

Entering now Balmy Alley on 24th Street home of the most concentrated collection of murals in San Francisco.

Power of the native people on Balmy Alley.

The struggle of a man leaving his land and family behind in search of The American Dream.

My love, I hope that when you receive this letter you are doing well next to our son. I am still working in California. I know that life there is hard, but I think it is even harder here because of the distance that separates us. I miss you so much and hope that we can be together again very soon. With much love, Chepe. – Photography & translation by Isabel Perdomo

Ingenious way of bringing architectural elements into art work.

More ingenuity …

The 14th Mission flying through San Francisco

Famous Mexican Actresses and Actors.

Flavors, colors and culture of California … and up to here brings us my bicycle …

Design Details of the Caribbean

Bonjour monde!

It is nice to be back home and bring with me images and memories of an unforgettable trip to The East  Antilles islands of the Caribbean. Here are some beautiful design details that I spotted while traveling in St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barthelemy. Please enjoy with a shot of vanilla rum.

Beautiful tile design going up the outdoor stairs at Le Petit Hotel in Grand Case the food capital of St. Martin (French side).

Hand painted tiles on the outside steps at Le Petit Hotel

Wall details with contrasting soft colors at hotel’s lobby

Dropped textile ceiling, dramatic light fixtures and Roman arches at Holland House Hotel’s lobby in Philipsburg the capital of Sint Maarten (Dutch side).

Bright colors on balcony  at Old Street, Phillipsburg.

Dutch details on Old Street

Red wooden balcony on Old Street

Yellow house, red roof and beautiful flowers inspiring pigeon courting

Contrast of street elements and vernacular architecture

Beautiful and original recycling system at Anse du Gouverneur in St. Barth

Hand painted tiles used for the beach’s sign.

Graffiti spreading love on a sign at Anse du Gouverneur.

Making signs much more fun to see.

The beauty of building codes reflects when all the roofs are terracota at Gustavia the capital of St. Barthelemy.

Detail of hand painted floor tile at Bistrot Caraibes at Grand Case.

And the most beautiful design of all, mother nature in the form of sand, water and sky at Shoal Beach in Anguilla.

Au revoir!

Love doesn’t know age

Today’s post is not Design related, yet it was inspired by the design of love.

Last week, I began the Design workshops at a new house called Albachiara which is also an emergency center where street kids are taken to be put into rehabilitation programs. When I started the workshop one of the kids caught my attention as his face’s left side was all bitten up. To be honest, I felt intimidated by him no only because of his face’s wounds, but also because he didn’t speak to the other kids and felt disconnected.

On the second day, he came to me and asked me if he could tell me something. I said yes. He told me that he was worried about his “woman” as he had been taken into the emergency center and his family probably didn’t know he was there. I asked, why are you worried about your “woman”? He told me she was pregnant and he didn’t want her to think that he had disappeared of her life just because she was pregnant. I asked him to give me what he wanted to tell her that I would do something to make sure his “woman” knew he was living now at the emergency center.

He wrote this letter to his “woman”

Love letter from sixteen year old boy to his "woman"



My love, I only write to let you know that “I haven’t left you” and to tell you that I love you specially because of that little person that you have in your belly. I will never leave you!. My little princess I am in Albachiara in the neighborhood xx xx. I will be here for about fifteen days. I only ask you to wait for me to raise the baby that is on its way. I only ask you to wait for me that as soon as I can, I will go to your side because I love you and I am not an inept to raise our baby. Try to survive these days that as soon as I get there, believe me, you won’t have necessities. I love you.

A big kiss to you and the baby.

Soon to be father ... here his facial wounds are almost healed.

I was no able to get the letter to the girl, but I was able to make sure his family and specially his aunt (which lived in the same neighborhood as the pregnant girl) knew he was now in a rehabilitation center. Today, he wasn’t part of the Albachiara house anymore, as he had been taken to a stable home where he can be in touch with his “woman” and his baby.

With this letter, he taught me that Love has no age, social status, nor education. This boy will do what it takes to be a responsible father even if he has to be so at the age of sixteen.

Much love,


iDo Colombia – Final Ceremony at Casa Corazones

Here is a thirteen minute video showcasing the final ceremony we had at Casa Corazones from the Children of the Andes Foundation in Bogota, Colombia.

After two weeks od exploration, creation and prototyping, we developed beautiful instruments that represented our identity and inspirations.

Please enjoy …

English Medieval Towns … and their architecture

Happy New Year everyone. I have a feeling that this year will be positive, full of new opportunities and bright experiences. In my last post I explored London’s fashion and architecture. After being in one of the most fashionable cities … Continue reading

London’s Fashion and Architecture

This year’s end has brought me to one of the most fashionable and architecturally conscious cities in the world, London. I always wondered what was about London that every Londoner I met had such an exquisite taste for fashion and … Continue reading

The Kindness of South American Strangers (via My Unplanned Adventure)

O.k. This time I am not re-blogging about Design.

This time I am sharing with all of you, the beauty of being a South American.

Yes I have been far from home for over eleven years now, and I still have cultural differences both with people from the U.S. and other nations. That is the beauty of being in a multicultural city isn’t it?

Through twitter, I was connected somehow to someone traveling through Colombia. I don’t even know this person, but am now a faithful follower of her stories about traveling in my country.

Here is an inspiring one that may not teach you much about Design, but indeed teaches you about kindness and that not everyone in Colombia is as bad as media assures.

Next week, back to Design.

Buen camino y buena marcha,


The Kindness of South American Strangers Monday was a terrible morning that turned into a wonderful day thanks to the kindness of a Colombia stranger. I am now traveling in Antioquia, a region of Colombia known for extremely welcoming people. They treat you as a family member immediately. It is such a special feeling to travel in a place like Antioquia (or the Northeast of Brazil), especi … Read More

via My Unplanned Adventure